The idea of living in a world with less passwords and greater security sounds idyllic to anyone who spends a significant portion of their time on the web. Forgetting a password, resetting account details, creating a new password and then doing it all over again are entangled with the circle of digital life. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The emergence of passwordless authentication solutions presents a new way to control access to websites and applications. But what happens when you lose the device or key you use to log in? How do you regain access to a system that doesn’t have a password to reset? Developers have tackled this problem from a number of angles. Some have devised ingenious solutions for restoring access to the rightful account owner, while others have taken a more conventional approach.
When passwordless account needs reset
Identity and access management (IAM) solutions have shown that it’s possible to authenticate to the web more securely by removing the need for passwords altogether. But without a password to fall back on, and a corresponding email account to reset it, how do IAM solutions approach this problem?
Some IAM services rely on a simple account reset via email. From a user perspective, this is easy to grasp, but from a security perspective it’s less than ideal. Email can be compromised in a number of ways, including phishing attacks and SIM swaps, and once inside, an attacker can gain access to any IAM resets that are attempted, granting them the keys to your digital kingdom. Besides, if you’re relying on email to reset your account, you might as well be using a conventional password, which defeats the whole point of IAM.
In the event of a physical device being lost, some IAM solutions allow access to be restored from a new device by calling upon a trusted quorum of people. Essentially, you delegate trustworthy entities to secure your account who are called upon to sign the new key you generate when registering a replacement device to verify your identity. From a security perspective, this approach is preferable to email, but is more complex, and thus requires the members of your trusted quorum to be technically proficient.
How Auth makes recovery easy
If your device is lost or stolen with Auth, you don’t lose your identity in the process. A range of trusted recovery options allow you to regain access to your account, without diminishing your security. For instance, you can nominate friends and family members to serve as trusted emergency contacts and act as your guarantors, providing the authorization to get you back into your Auth account.
If you don’t want to trust people, though, you don’t have to. Auth gives you the ability to generate a recovery phrase that should be stored in a safe place. If you get locked out of your Auth account, just look out the seed phrase and use it to log back in. Finally, because Auth works with multi-factor authentication (MFA), you can use a security key such as Yubikey to authenticate and restore your Auth account.
Auth has been designed to provide the best of both worlds: the security boost of going passwordless coupled with practical options for regaining access. For businesses that integrate Auth, the cost and time-savings can be substantial, since its design facilitates safe passwordless account recovery without the need to involve tech support. As anyone who’s worked in IT or customer support will attest, a lot of time is taken up dealing with customers who can’t access their accounts. It’s crucial to select the right dedicated customer identity and access management solution to safeguard your clients’ identities.
If you’re searching for passwordless authentication that’s as easy to integrate, master, and recover take a look at Auth.